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ToyKeeper
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Axis-49 midi keyboard. It uses a harmonic table layout. So, one axis is 3rds, one axes is 4ths, and the final axis is 5ths. It’s isomorphic and very intuitive to play. Unfortunately, they’re no longer made or available… and I only have one.

The traditional piano layout is nice for songs which use only the white notes, but pretty subpar otherwise.

There are, at least, several guitar-like key instruments though… like the Linnstrument. It may not be quite as nice as the harmonic table layout, but it’s close… and much easier to obtain. Also has some other benefits, like being able to do smooth slides since chromatic notes are still next to each other. Doesn’t do single-finger chords though.

wle
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can you reassign all the notes to make your own though?

weird
i never heard of it

the CBA [chromatic button accordion] layout is this
http://www.thecipher.com/cba_c_system_spelling.html

logical and consistent but totally different from your axis thingy
wait it might be partly the same – i see one row in minor thirds…

wle

wle
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not the same as CBA, CBA does not have that minor-third major-third relation
it has a half-step whole-step for the other directions

anyway, not flashlight related, can continue in PM, like is there an in-production alternative?
you only need hex key layout and reassignable notes

there are computer accordions but they do not do notes in that arrangement
not sure you can conveniently remap them either
Roland makes several computer accordions

wle

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ToyKeeper wrote:
I made another song today on ye olde Atmega chip synth. I used all 8 bits!

Anyway, I call it “Perspective”. It’s a slow burn, but I like it. I hope you will too.


This made me smile sooooo hard….
Thank you for that.
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wle wrote:
anyway, not flashlight related, can continue in PM, like is there an in-production alternative? you only need hex key layout and reassignable notes

The closest I’ve seen is software. Like, for Android there’s Hexboard, Hexiano, and IsoKeys. But with only a touchscreen, it’s no good for actual use.

If you have a CBA device, you might be able to rotate it 90 degrees and remap it… but it’d still be a little different than intended.

I hope my Axis-49 lasts a long long time because I like it so much, but if it dies I may be okay with a Linnstrument or a Continuum Fingerboard or maybe even a Deluge synth. They’re all so pricey though!

I’m not sure if it’s still possible to get an Opal Chameleon, but it’s also very expensive.

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BTW, here’s one interesting use of the hex layout:

Same guy doing piano improv on it:

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Oh, there’s also the Hyve synth, but it doesn’t do midi and it’s flat and it only makes one sound so it’s kind of irrelevant as an input device. Neat, but severely limited.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMDURsBLIOY

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wle wrote:
not the same as CBA, CBA does not have that minor-third major-third relation

Oh, you’d have to remap it. But if CBA is turned 90 degrees it’s at least a similar physical layout. Or if the Axis / Sonome / harmonic table layout is rotated 90 degrees, it could be remapped as CBA or the jammer layout or a few others.

wle wrote:
anyway, not flashlight related, can continue in PM

It’s okay, this thread isn’t intended to be flashlight-related and doesn’t have a thousand people eagerly waiting for updates. Smile

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ToyKeeper wrote:
I made another song today on ye olde Atmega chip synth. I used all 8 bits!

Anyway, I call it “Perspective”. It’s a slow burn, but I like it. I hope you will too.

Like it for some reaon made me think of Orbital:
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The Miller wrote:
for some reaon made me think of Orbital: {link}

… The Girl With The Sun In Her Head?

That’s ironic. Smile

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Smile
I like to chime in on off topic topics once in a while Wink

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What’s that you say? Chimes?

I made this one a few years ago, “Accidental Mega Man”, and it “chimes in” too:

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Heheh @ that dancing dude

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I enjoyed yesterday’s beer-and-explosions holiday by making a different kind of loud noise.

… and although I had planned to stay in, I got restless and before I knew it I found myself juggling a lightsaber for a party of elementary school kids while half a dozen fireworks shows erupted all around us.

Aside from the unshakable feeling of dread that the world as we know it is doomed and there is absolutely nothing we can do to prevent its inevitable collapse, it was a good day. Smile

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ToyKeeper wrote:
Aside from the unshakable feeling of dread that the world as we know it is doomed and there is absolutely nothing we can do to prevent its inevitable collapse, it was a good day. Smile

No boom today. Boom tomorrow. There’s always a boom tomorrow.
— Susan Ivanova

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

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Lightbringer wrote:
No boom today. Boom tomorrow. There’s always a boom tomorrow. — Susan Ivanova

LOL, I’ve been meaning to watch that for ages… Somehow I still haven’t. I hear good things about it though, particularly how it actually has a coherent story from beginning to end which was written in advance instead of going season by season. That’s rare.

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Susan Ivanova wrote:

Ivanova is always right
I will listen to Ivanova
I will not ignore Ivanova’s recommendations
Ivanova is God!

Maybe I should watch B5 sooner rather than later. The XO sounds like someone I’d get along with. Big Smile

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ToyKeeper wrote:
Lightbringer wrote:
No boom today. Boom tomorrow. There’s always a boom tomorrow. — Susan Ivanova

LOL, I’ve been meaning to watch that for ages… Somehow I still haven’t. I hear good things about it though, particularly how it actually has a coherent story from beginning to end which was written in advance instead of going season by season. That’s rare.

Definitely, do. And the movies.

I was privy to the mailing-list “jms speaks”, and he went into the whole deal with the execs, and laid down the law, else no deal.

First, it’s to be a 5yr arc. Not 4yrs, not 6, not 2, not 10. 5.

Second, no one is to change anything in his scripts, not rewrite sections, not so much as move a comma.

He kept total control of the series, kept it coherent, kept it as close as possible to his “vision” which he had in the shower (I kid you not), and most importantly, kept the suits out of it.

And it paid off. Things in the background you see in S1 would figure prominently in S3 or later.

Details, details, details…

 

In contrast, look at “Andromeda”. EXCELLENT first season, then bobsledding downhill from there after Sorbocles got his mitts on it. S1 didn’t spoon-feed you anything. One ep you’d hear feral kids referring to the “one-stoff”, and you had to figure it out on your own they were talking about the First Officer (abbreviated “1stOff”!).

After Sorbocles got to it, it turned into “Hercules In Space”. Barfights, warlords, shoot-‘em-ups, completely dumbed down and more “action” than anything remotely cerebral. <gag/>

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ha that is a long time ago, hearing those notes Smile

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That MIDI sounds! The exact same music styling as my old time favourite arcade game: Raiden III. I played that for hours on my Intel Pentium 233MX machine back in my college days. The sounds is relaxing, while being cool and playing god. Kill them all! fusion moves! I played 2P by myself (left hand = keyboard, right hand = joystick) just to get the extra killing projectiles

- Clemence

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Andromeda definitely went downhill… especially in season 4. And then season 5 was a completely different show with the same characters. If one must watch, stop after season 3.

It seems now I need to find a Raiden III soundtrack. A quick look on youtube shows it has some nice sounds I might be able the dial in on the new toy, but I can’t hear much behind all the explosions. Smile

Anyway, those CV (analog control voltage) outputs I thought I’d never use on my Keystep? It turns out they do some neat stuff when I plug it into other analog equipment. I tried that this morning. Also, I need to find a better video editor; this was really awkward to edit.

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ToyKeeper wrote:
It seems now I need to find a Raiden III soundtrack. A quick look on youtube shows it has some nice sounds I might be able the dial in on the new toy, but I can’t hear much behind all the explosions. Smile

Ow, ow, ow! My bat-like ears were really picking up those high-freq notes…

Yeah, probably the freqs were getting too high (Nyquist limit) and getting aliased down to lower freqs.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

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Sorry, I checked and it turned out that I played the older version: Raiden II. I like the Raiden II music better than the newer version

Raiden II full soundtrack

Raiden III full soundtrack

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ToyKeeper wrote:


I have not much clue about the technical stuff but that was fun to hear! The reproduction of all those high frequency sounds by my simple little HP computer speaker is amazingly good btw.
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Ah, yes, Raiden II sounds like its music came from a classic FM chip. Probably the popular Yamaha one which was standard on sound cards (Adlib, Sound Blaster, etc) for a long time.

… google …

Oh, not quite. The Adlib chip was a YM3812, but Raiden used a YM2151. Pretty close though. The PC version probably used the Adlib anyway since that’s what would have been available.

I don’t have a FM synthesizer, but a friend offered their Volca FM for cheap and it’s vaguely tempting. I like the sound of traditional analog synths better overall though. To me, frequency modulated digital synthesis sounds like the texture of plastic, the musical equivalent of paintings made only with pastel colors, like visiting a display home where every piece of furniture is brand new and every last detail is staged to make the house look lived-in despite being completely devoid of life. There’s something nice at times about the artificial clean-ness, but most of the time I prefer the scratchy dirty rawness of a subtractive analog synth.

While FM synths meticulously build up sounds one sine wave at a time, producing a very clean sound with a tidy spectral graph, what I used is nothing like that. The subtractive analog synth approach is to belch out all the colors simultaneously into a giant spectral rainbow from one horizon to the other, but filter out some of it before it hits the canvas.

Mathematically, square waves are the sum of an infinite series of sine waves at harmonic intervals. You can think of it kind of like the ripples caused by throwing a rock into a still lake. But of course that’s too simple, so most synthesizers provide lots of ways to make the canvas quite a bit dirtier than just a single square wave. It’s harmonics on top of harmonics as far as the eye can see, interference patterns, like a bunch of people throwing rocks into the same lake all at once. This makes really massive sounds which totally fill the sonic space. Then filters contain the mess, somewhat, by dynamically changing the shape of the lake. This cuts out some frequencies while amplifying others. It’s messy and fun. Smile

Good FM can be really good though. For example, “Cave Bouncer” by my friend tenfour:
https://ubiktune.bandcamp.com/track/cave-bouncer

That requires more precision than I generally care for though. I typically paint the broad strokes and then get bored and move on.

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It was y Intel Pentium 233MMX, Creative 24x CDROM drive, (crappy) Creative desktop speakers, 32mB EDO RAM, VooDoo something VGA Card….I couldn’t find the PC version of this Raiden II. Sounded a bit different.
I don’t know, was it the speaker I used didn’t have basses, or I already forgetting how it really sounded. Will try to get the .exe file of the original game in my stash later.
My first “real” active speaker was Altec Lansing ACS495 bought it secondhand for ~USD 60 in 1999. And it has been my only desktop speaker until today, sounds so much better than my bluetooth UE Megaboom.
Once I get the file, you can try to install it. Extracting the MID should be simple enough.

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ToyKeeper wrote:
Andromeda definitely went downhill… especially in season 4. And then season 5 was a completely different show with the same characters. If one must watch, stop after season 3.

It seems now I need to find a Raiden III soundtrack. A quick look on youtube shows it has some nice sounds I might be able the dial in on the new toy, but I can’t hear much behind all the explosions. Smile

Anyway, those CV (analog control voltage) outputs I thought I’d never use on my Keystep? It turns out they do some neat stuff when I plug it into other analog equipment. I tried that this morning. Also, I need to find a better video editor; this was really awkward to edit.

I think my dog hates the high pitch sounds. He howled at some parts then hide under the workbench

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clemence wrote:
I think my dog hates the high pitch sounds. He howled at some parts then hide under the workbench

It’s funny you mention that. I almost said something about it in the video, something along the lines of “Warning: Cover your dog’s ears”. Normally I cut off the extra-high frequencies, but in this case I was having fun playing with Nyquist aliasing.

clemence wrote:
It was y Intel Pentium 233MMX, … I couldn’t find the PC version of this Raiden II. Sounded a bit different. … Once I get the file, you can try to install it. Extracting the MID should be simple enough.

It probably sounded different because the PC had a different FM chip than the arcade machine. It likely didn’t use MIDI, but rather some sort of tracker-like music format. In either case though, the music files are a sequence of instructions, which notes to play at which times with which instruments, not actual audio. It’s like sheet music. Getting sound out of it depends on what sort of instruments those instructions are sent to.

Older gaming systems did this sort of thing a lot because they lacked the storage space and processing power to deal with raw audio like wav or mp3 files. So they’d add a hardware synth chip and offload the sound generation to it.

Raiden III seems to take the more modern approach of playing pre-recorded audio files. I’d like to know what instruments they used though, because it has a very crisp and precise analog-modeling synth sound to it and they clearly used a fair amount of automation on the knobs. For example, this track is a blatant example of going wild with a digital resonant lowpass filter.

I wonder how close I can get the microbrute to that sound. I could probably duplicate it almost exactly with a microkorg, which might even be what the original composer used, but it’s a pain to build patches on. It’d be an interesting experiment though.

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Shocked way beyond my scope of field. I do the gaming, you make the music then. FYI, I was (again) totally wrong about the game. Checked my old drive. It was the Mountain King’s Demonstar! No wonder the music sounds different. But these games have very similar layouts and music style. Perhaps Demonstar was made as the PC version of Raiden I/II/III which weren’t exist. I went to the bookstore next to my highschool to play Raiden then several years later, during my college time, did competition every saturday nights with the boys. Most boys date the girls, while we nerds, just play arcade games. It’s a free shareware: Demonstar

- Clemence

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LOL, third time’s a charm. Smile

I didn’t play Demonstar, but I played its predecessor called Raptor. Although Demonstar’s composer invented a midi-like music format for FM synthesis (.imf), Demonstar didn’t use it. Instead, Demonstar used .mod tracker music like an Amiga. It’s a sample-based method where you have short pre-recorded instruments, typically just a single note, and then play them back at different speeds to get different pitches. It was popular for a while as a way to get closer to CD-quality audio without using anywhere near as much space as a CD. To this day, some people I know still hold a weekly one-hour compo where they each write a MOD tracker song with the same set of samples, then vote on whose was the best. And, almost every time, Coda wins. Dammit, Coda. Why you gotta be so fantastic? Dude is seriously amazing.

I’ll upload some of my old MOD music eventually, but I haven’t put any online yet. Most of it was pretty terrible.

Incidentally, the Demonstar guy also did the music for the original DOOM game. Good stuff.

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